Duplicate Bridge results and tip: Useful conventions worth learning, part three



By Val Rhead

Better Minor Convention

What do you do if you have opening points but you don’t have a five-card major (Hearts or Spades), and you’re not in the point range or have the distribution for a No-Trump opening?  Use the Better Minor convention.  This bid tells your partner that you have a hand with opening points and describes the approximate shape of your hand.

With this kind of a hand, if your two minor suits are both four cards long, you would open One-Diamond. You do this so that if you must bid again, you can bid Two-Clubs without doing a reverse (allowing partner to bid Two-Diamonds to show a minimum hand).

If your Diamond suit contains four cards and your Club suit contains just three cards or less, you open One-Diamond.  If both suits are three cards, bid up the line, that is open One-Club allowing your partner to bid One-Diamond.  If however, your three-card Diamond suit is Ace, King, Queen, and your three-card Club suit is Two, Three, Four, use your own judgment.

This means that more often than not, your opening One-Diamond will show at least four cards. Your One-Club opening bid might contain just three cards. Some players have slightly different agreements, so check with a new partner before beginning to play.

However, the minor suit named could be a strong suit of normal opening length and that could be dealt with by the usual bidding methods.  Subsequent bidding would make that clear.  For example: If you open One-Club and I respond One-Heart, and your next bid is Two-Clubs, I will know that you have a good Club suit of at least six-card length.

Recently I was surprised in a Social Bridge game with someone I hadn’t played with before. I had opened One-Club and my partner replied One-Diamond. I had a good hand, and so after a few bids, we arrived at a contract of Three-No-Trump. The lead was made by our opponent, and my partner’s hand came down. I was shocked because my partner had just three points and only two little Diamonds. She had bid Diamonds and I assumed that she might have the stopper in that suit that I needed to make my No-Trump contract. I asked her later why she had made that bid with such a paltry suit and so few points.

“Oh,” she replied, “many of the people I play with bid One-Diamond after a One-Club opening bid to show they have a worthless hand. After all,” she said, “my partner’s One-Club bid may just have three little Clubs. I’d hate to pass and leave my partner playing One-Club.”

But what’s wrong I thought, if you just say “pass,” to show your worthless hand when you have less than six points and no Club support? How often has your side gone down when you’re just at the One level? Not often, and if you do go down, it’s a mere fifty or one-hundred points. Usually what happens though, is that the opposition starts bidding their suit and you end up playing defense. And, what does a player bid, when she really does have a good Diamond suit? And how does the partner know the difference?

Many Bridge conventions have changed over the years. Make sure you use up-to-date conventions and check with a new partner to see what conventions they play.

If you wish to promote an activity in your Bridge group or ask a Bridge question, send the information to [email protected]gmail.com and I will try to include it in this column.


Games are at the SUMMIT CENTRE Thursdays, 7pm. PLEASE NOTE that our NEW VENUE for Bridge DURING THE SUMMER will be the Summit Centre “Don Lough Warming Area”.  This room is located on the second level of the Summit Centre accessible by taking the right-hand stairs after passing through the main entrance and then proceeding straight past the doors.  The room does not have a kitchen; hence, please bring your own beverage (we will still provide snacks). Just come – with or without a partner.  Please arrive 10 minutes before game time.

For information, please contact Donna or Peter Tikuisis at 647 471 1774 or [email protected].

For now, this game will be played following Chicago Rules (allowing both fast and slow games).  You will keep your same partner for the entire evening.  Cost is $1.50 per person.


Games for the Port Carling Social Bridge Club are Monday evening 7pm at the Port Carling Community Centre, 3 Bailey Street.  Please arrive with your partner at least 10 minutes before game time.  NOTE:  There is no game Monday July 1.

For information, contact Andree or Scott 705-764-3827 [email protected]

Monday, June 24, 2019 Results: 1. Jeanette & Hans Heeneman 5,180 points; 2. Els Vandenburg & Peter Rhead; 4,750 points


Games are Tuesday 7pm Trinity United Church 33 Main Street.  Please arrive with your partner at least 10 minutes before game time.  For partners and information call Jan Roberts 705 635-2522 or email [email protected]

The following winners are for Tuesday, June 25, 2019 with 19 pairs playing a Mitchell movement. North-South 1. Vern Foell and Rod Dixon; 2. Pat Pelletier and Joan Rotenberg; 3. Beryl Clayson and Paul Clayson; 4. Betty Fagin and Joanne Garvey 5. Marilyn Waltho and John Waltho; East-West 1. Susan Marshall and Jan Roberts; 2. Art Insley and Don Evans; 3. Andrea Killackey and Judith Arbus; 4. Yutta Savoia and Jill Boschulte; 5. Jinty Stewart and Jim Smith


Games for the Bracebridge Club are Mondays 7pm, Knox Presbyterian Church, 120 Taylor Road.  Please arrive with your partner 10 minutes before game time.

The following winners are from Monday, Jun 24, 2019 with 18 pairs playing a Mitchell movement.  North-South 1. Liz Barnes and David Bryce; 2/3. Mary Luke and Donna McIntosh; 2/3. Mary Whitehead and Jim Smith; 4. Jennifer Thompson and Sheila Robinson; 5. Betty Fagin and Gail Lederer; East-West 1. Joanne Garvey and Bev Howard; 2. Stephanie Burnett and Ed Leies; 3/4. Mary Mitchell and Susan Maddocks; 3/4. Kathy Kent and David Kent; 5. Art Insley and Don Evans

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